confuse

play
verb con·fuse \kən-ˈfyüz\

Definition of confuse

confused

;

confusing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 archaic :  to bring to ruin

  3. 2a :  to make embarrassed :  abashb :  to disturb in mind or purpose :  throw off The directions she gave confused us.

  4. 3a :  to make indistinct :  blur Stop confusing the issue.b :  to mix indiscriminately :  jumble Their arms, legs, and bodies were confused together, till they resembled … two serpents interlaced. — Thomas Medwinc :  to fail to differentiate from an often similar or related other confuse money with comfort Do not confuse the words “flaunt” and “flout”.

confusingly

play \kən-ˈfyü-ziŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of confuse in a Sentence

  1. The general was trying to confuse the enemy.

  2. The new evidence only confused matters further.

  3. You must be confusing me with someone else.

Origin and Etymology of confuse

back-formation from Middle English confused frustrated, ruined, from Anglo-French confus, from Latin confusus, past participle of confundere


First Known Use: 14th century


CONFUSE Defined for English Language Learners

confuse

play
verb

Definition of confuse for English Language Learners

  • : to make (someone) uncertain or unable to understand something

  • : to make (something) difficult to understand

  • : to mistakenly think that one person or thing is another person or thing : to mistake (one person or thing) for another


CONFUSE Defined for Kids

confuse

play
verb con·fuse \kən-ˈfyüz\

Definition of confuse for Students

confused

;

confusing

  1. 1 :  to make uncertain or unable to understand :  perplex The directions confused me and I got lost.

  2. 2 :  to fail to tell apart Teachers always confused the twins.



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up confuse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to glide in or as if in an airplane

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!